Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 November 2022 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.        If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

So it’s Monday! What’s the big deal about that eh? Monday comes around every week, and we face it, with hope, prayer and faith in Almighty God, successfully defeat it and move on to the next day. And the reason why so many of us are in a tizzy come Monday morning is because we don’t make proper preparations for it on Sunday evening. 

Oh friends, the only way to successfully greet a new day is by being prepared for it, having some plan(s) to take it under our wing and control it, rather than have no plans, and allow it to control us. And since we all know that Monday is a day of work, it should be common sense, not rocket science to prepare for it beforehand, so that we’re not aimlessly rushing around looking for stuff on Monday morning. Surprisingly, no other day of the workweek seems to give us as much trouble as Monday, the one we have the most time to prepare for. Perhaps that’s the problem; we have too much time to prepare for it, so we keep putting it off until it’s too late. 

That recalls Cousin Sol’s wise words from Proverbs: ‘He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.’ (Prov. 25:28) And this other Proverb describes the same thing. ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’ (Prov. 16:32) Likewise this one: ‘The discretion (self-control) of a man deferreth his anger (makes him slow to anger); and it is his glory to pass over (overlook) a transgression.’ (Prov. 19:11) 

Yes my people, self-control is an essential aspect of successful living. In fact, it’s possibly the most important aspect, because if we don’t have it, we won’t be able to do the other necessary things properly. And remember it’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit, which means it will only flourish if we allow the Holy Spirit to water and nurture the godly seed planted in us. And the Bible gives us oodles of scriptures that bear out the importance of self-control, so let’s look at a few, hoping that they will help us in our ongoing battle with life. 

And probably the most famous one is that written to Timothy by Bruh Paul: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) And to both Timothy and Titus, Bruh Paul wrote about the qualities needed for bishops and deacons as well as for ordinary believers and they all include that aspect of self-control. (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9, 2:1-10). And as well, in his treatise to Timothy on apostasy (turning away from faith in God) Bruh Paul writes that one of the signs would be ‘incontinent men,’ that’s men without self-control. 

Meanwhile Peter in his second epistle writes to the Jewish diaspora regarding growing in grace, in spiritual maturity. ‘And beside this (but also for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue (moral excellence); and to virtue knowledge (spiritual truth); and to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (endurance); and to patience godliness; (2 Pet. 1:5-6) 

Now we can all see that the importance of self-control is no lie by just looking at the terrible state of our current world filled with so much confusion and strife, dissatisfaction, greed and an insatiable hunger for power, most of which is driven by a lack of self-control. 

And if you want it clearer than all that, then listen to Jesus as He discusses the terms of discipleship in His organization. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) That’s as plain and straightforward as you can get. You have to be bubbling over with self-control to follow Jesus, meaning denying your own desires and instead following His. And there is more to say on the subject, but since I’m aspiring to keep the Bit as short as possible (smile) we’ll leave that for tomorrow, God willing. 

The next step then is to go to God in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn asking for divine assistance. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And for us to get a positive reaction, it’s imperative that we keep our promises and show some improvement in our daily lives. Much LOVE!

…self-control is like body building…you have to exercise it for it to grow… 

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